One of my favorite aspects of bodyweight training is how its underlying simplicity is so scalable, from basic to extremely advanced levels.
With GBT you start with the Basic exercises outlined below and then, after you’ve mastered those, you can progress to Intermediate and Advanced. Following is a brief recap of the basic, intermediate, and advanced versions of the upper and lower body routine featured in the article. Just as a side note, the exercise that is labeled V Shoulder Press is actually a Pike Push Up. In the intermediate section we’ve now either increased the complexity of the movement variations or increased the amount of your own bodyweight you need to use. For the advanced section we’ve taken all eight exercises and continued to progress their difficulty.
All of the lower body exercises have either progressed to plyometric versions or single leg movements. So as you can see, bodyweight training has a tremendous range for whatever your current fitness level is. And, sign up for our email list (don’t worry, we keep your email address private!) through the sign-up form at the bottom of this page, and you’ll get access to my free video, 25 PUSH-UP VARIATIONS FOR TOTAL CHEST DEVELOPMENT! I have recently been to South Africa from the UK to see family and grabbed a copy of mens health while there and read your article, as soon as i come back started training the basic session and plan to progress through, i do both upper into lower as a big circuit and i am a convert to the body weight training!! I run assult courses for fun, most recently the Strongman run in Germany April 2011 and i thought i was fit but trust me if you have just read this give body weight training a go its an entirely different challenge! Im glad you got published in South Africa as im now in the UK spreading the Global boby weight word and cant wait to improve to behind the back clap push ups and hand stand push ups!! Hey Rob, in a circuit format we would perform the entire circuit, then rest before repeating.
What recommendations would you have for someone who is just getting back into working out after years of a sedentary, crappy food lifestyle. Stand up tall with the legs straight, and do like Lil’ Jon and let those fingertips hit the floor.
Standing with the knees slightly bent, jump up as high as possible (pretend Jeremy Lin is watching!) and bring the knees in toward the chest while extending the arms straight out.
Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Beginning on all fours with the core engaged, slowly walk the hands forward, staying on the toes but not moving them forward. One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Starting in a plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up into a push-up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Stand with the feet hip-distance apart and squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor while swinging the arms up. This may be self-explanatory, but just in case—find a step or bench, and place the right foot on the elevated surface. From a standing position, slowly rise up on the toes, keeping the knees straight and heels off the floor. From a push-up position, raise up those hips and in one swift movement (Hai-yah!) use the arms to lower the front of the body until the chin comes close to the floor. Starting in a standard plank position, raise the hips as high as they can go, then lower them back down. Thanks to our friends at Lululemon for outfitting our model in the Swiftly Tech Racerback and Ebb To Street Pant. All you need is 30 minutes to break a sweat with this kick-butt bodyweight workout—anytime, anywhere. This high-intensity bodyweight workout is a simple, effective way to work your whole body—without any machinery or extra equipment. The movements are divided into four lower body movement patterns (Squat, Lunge, Step Up, Deadlift) and four upper body patterns (Vertical Push, Vertical Pull, Horizontal Push, Horizontal Pull).


Our Push Up has now become a Behind the Back Clap Push Up, which requires a tremendous amount of explosive power as well as the challenge of decelerating the bodyweight on the way back down.
I have about 50lbs to lose, and can’t even do an unassisted pull up, barely 2-3 pushups and well you get the idea.
Bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without machinery or extra equipment.
Keeping the legs straight (but not locked!), slowly lower the torso toward the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Starting on the hands and knees, rise up onto the toes, tighten the core, and slowly reach forward with the right arm and right knee, followed by the left side. Grab some dumbbells (or household objects!) and briskly walk up and down the stairway while simultaneously doing bicep curls to work the whole body.
Next, gradually walk the hands backwards to the starting position, maintain stability and balance.
Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Step your right leg forward and slowly lower body until left (back) knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees.
Instead of bringing that forward leg back to the starting position, raise it up off the floor while lifting the arms overhead. Stand holding the arms straight out in front of the body, and raise the right leg, flexing the right ankle and pushing the hips back. When lunging, step the left leg back behind the right, bending the knees and lowering the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Slowly start to crouch by bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Lift the right leg slightly, and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Straighten the legs, then lift up the right knee while swinging the left arm outside the right knee.
Raise the left leg straight back, stopping when the foot is hip-level and the thigh parallel to the floor. With hands shoulder-width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Here’s the breakdown: Lie on your stomach with the arms outstretched and palms facing one another. Get set in a headstand position against a wall and bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle, doing an upside down push-up (so the head moves toward the floor and the legs remain against the wall). Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. These push-ups get pimped out with a diamond-shaped hand position (situate them so that the thumbs and index fingers touch).
Starting with feet hip-width apart and knees bent, keep the elbows in and extend one arm forward and the other arm back.
Seated with the legs extended and feet flexed, place the hands on the floor and slightly round the torso.
For a variation, after coming back up into a starting push-up position, rotate the body to the right and extend the right hand overhead, forming a T with the arms and torso.
Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can stomach!). With the back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move the arms from one side to another in a twisting motion. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens.
Lying on your back with your knees bent and core tight, let the knees fall gradually to the left (feeling a good stretch).
Follow the same run-down for the single leg press (above), but bring up both legs at the same time, pushing the hands against the knees.


Lie on your back with the legs straight and arms by your side—elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
From heart-pumping jump tucks to core-blasting mountain climbers, these supersetted moves will help build strength and boost metabolism with just body resistance alone. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t do the more advanced moves; there are still techniques that will take Fitch another two years to master. I however don’t have access to anywhere that I can perform pullups or inverted rows at all at the moment. From legs and shoulders to chest and abs, we’ve covered every part of the body that can get stronger with body resistance alone. Then, in an explosive motion, push up hard enough to come off the floor (and hang ten for a second!).
Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show.
Balance for as long as possible, then raise the bottom right toe off the floor, tightening the butt, back, and abs (try to be graceful here!). Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). Slowly lift one arm a few inches off the floor, keeping it straight without rotating the shoulders and keeping the head and torso still. Tighten the core and kick both legs into the air with knees bent, reaching the feet back toward the glutes.
With palms facing each other and the abs engaged, bend forward slightly from the waist and extend arms out to the side, squeezing the shoulder blades. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor.
With hands behind the head, place the chin down slightly and peel the head and shoulders off the mat while engaging the core. Push the right hand on top of the lifted knee, using the core to create pressure between the hand and knee. So take this workout to the park, the playground, or the living room floor—there's no excuse to skip a workout again!
The only tools I used in the beginner workout is a pair of gymnastic rings, which you can get HERE. I was thinking that I could substitute these exercises with rows and lat-pulldowns but still keep the circuit format of the original program. Keeping the back straight, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can hang).
Slowly make clockwise circles for about twenty to thirty seconds (about one foot in diameter).
If you need more detail on any of the moves below, check out our list of 50 bodyweight moves for explanations.
But in order to do so I was thinking that I would need to emulate the two movements by knowing the exact resistance that they would provide and using weights on a barbell. My logic is that my muscles would work as hard as they would for chins+inverted rows and I could work on getting the full reps and circuits and progress as this program does. Anyway these are just thoughts and I am clearly not an expert or anything so here I am asking if this could work.
This movement is a killer variation for working the Abdominals, hip flexors and Quads in addition to the original vertical pulling muscles.



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